Looking for the best camera for night photography? Well, you cannot agree more when we say that without a good camera, you can’t capture epic images at low light.
The good news is that there are many choices for the best camera and even lenses for night photography. However, what sets apart the best cameras for shooting at night from other cameras is that they have:
- High-quality sensors
- Wide aperture
- Adjustable while balance
- Higher ISO level
So, whether you’re a skilled or beginner night photographer, below is our list of the best cameras worth considering. We’ve also included an in-depth buyer’s guide to help you make the right choice.
Night Photography Cameras: Comparison Table
A good camera for night photography should be capable of capturing every fine detail in low-light conditions. These cameras meet all the requirements a professional night photographer would be looking for. Check them out.
The Best Cameras for Night Photography
1. Sony Alpha a6000
If you need an all-round camera, this Alpha a6000 makes for a solid pick. It features an APS-C sensor with 24MP that allows ultimate light sensitivity and image quality.
On top of that, the camera is equipped with a fast autofocus system featuring 179 points. This allows you to get great shots during still or video capture.
More importantly, it boasts an ISO range of 100-25600 that is expandable to 51200. As such, photographers can get stunning detail when shooting in low light.
What’s more, the Alpha a6000 includes an OLED viewfinder that delivers a wide viewing angle for better visibility especially at night.
- Records videos in full HD
- Easy to use thanks to its intuitive controls
- Lower noise
- Tilts to allow low and high-angle framing
- Shutter noise is a little too loud
2. Canon EOS 5D Mark III
The EOS 5D Mark is yet another great low-light camera that is made available by Canon. It features a 61-point AF system that lets you take precise shots free from blurs, in every light condition.
But what really makes this unit apt for night photography is its extended ISO range of 100 to 25600. The higher ISO allows photographers to capture high-quality images at night without the need for a flash.
What’s more? The camera comes with a full-frame CMOS sensor which has a resolution of 22 megapixels. Combined with the DIGIC 5+ processor, the sensor allows you to take crisp and detailed photos during the day or night.
- Ideal for still photography
- Records 1080p HD videos with manual controls
- Quiet enough on higher shutter speeds
- Produces excellent picture quality in low light
- Quite pricey but worth every penny
3. Canon EOS Rebel T6
Combining affordability with excellent performance, this camera is known to deliver great picture quality in low-light conditions.
It boasts a high-performance optical viewfinder that allows for both quick and accurate focusing by simply framing and capturing the subject. Besides, the camera comes with a 9-point autofocus system that provides high precision focusing especially at night.
Additionally, the EOS Rebel T6 uses an 18.0MP APS-C sensor that captures sharp images in bright or low light. More so, it features a DIGIC 4+ processor which enables high performance.
- High ISO range of 100-6400
- Looks and works like brand new although it’s a refurbished
- Great build quality
- Records full HD videos at 30 frames per second
- The camera is not new but refurbished
- No autofocus when shooting videos
4. Panasonic Lumix GH4
Designed for both professional photo and video use, the Panasonic Lumix GH4 is considered to be a true hybrid camera. It has a 16.05-megapixel sensor that is capable of taking high-resolution images in RAW and JPEG formats.
On top of that, this model is housed in a weather-sealed magnesium alloy body for optimal durability. Best of all, it boasts a great shutter life that is designed to meet the demands of professional use.
As far as performance is concerned, the camera features high-speed 49-point autofocus. This allows you to capture stunning photos or videos in every light condition.
- Built-in NFC technology and Wi-Fi
- Simple to navigate controls
- Great battery life even when shooting 4K videos
- Perfect for high-speed action photography
- Noise level is clear even at lower ISO settings
5. Sony RX100 III
The Sony RX100 III can deliver stunning picture quality both in bright light to low light. This is probably all thanks to its new and improved f/1.8-2.8 Zeiss lens that also feature a 24-70mm zoom.
What’s more? The camera comes with a large Exmor-R sensor with a resolution of 20.1 MP. This allows you to capture clear and detailed images, especially in dimly lit environments.
Additionally, it spots an ISO range of 160 to 12800 which can also be expanded for better performance. As if that’s not enough, the unit boasts an OLED viewfinder so you can view each scene in rich detail.
- Reduced noise level even at high-sensitivity settings
- Has a coating to reduce ghost and flare
- Supports Wi-Fi connections for easy transfer of images
- Boasts great speed and accuracy when taking stills
- Zoom capability is very limited
- A little on the heavy side
6. Nikon D7200
For anyone looking for a camera that offers a blend of versatility and convenience, the Nikon D7200 is worth giving a look.
Featuring 6fps shooting capacity, this unit allows you to capture shots that others might miss. Best of all, it boasts ISO of up to 25600 that enables you to take remarkably sharp, pure photos and videos.
Thanks to its 24.2 MP DX-format sensor, you can shoot in nearly any conditions including from dawn until after dusk.
- Uses EXPEED 4 processor for stunning definition
- High-speed frame rate
- Auto ISO allows smooth exposure transitions
- Fast and accurate autofocus
- Short battery life
- AF doesn’t always work
7. Nikon D5300
Here is yet another great night photography camera from the brand Nikon that boasts outstanding performance.
With an expandable ISO range of 100 to 12800, the Nikon D5300 can capture clear images in dimly lit conditions. Its 39-point AF system with 3D metering and tracking allows for fast and accurate focusing on the subjects at hand.
More so, it is equipped with a DX-format sensor with a resolution of 24MP but no optical low-pass filter. Consequently, you can expect nothing but sharp images even when shooting in the middle of the night.
- Continuous shooting at 5fps
- Built-in pop-up flash, GPS and Wi-Fi
- Great image quality even at low ISO
- Shoots HD videos at 1080 and 720 resolutions
- Slow photo review after taking photos
8. Nikon D810
The Nikon D810 truly raises the bar as far as the image quality is concerned. It boasts an FX-format full-frame sensor with a resolution of 36.3MP. This ensures flawless detail retention, especially when shooting in the dark.
And with an ISO range of 64 to 12800, there is no doubt that this camera is designed with night photographers in mind.
On top of that, it performs with great speed and precision thanks to its 51-point autofocus system.
- Takes outstanding noise-free images
- ISO adjusts automatically based on light conditions
- Fast frame rates
- Unmatched speed in low-light situations
- Quite pricey
9. Sony Alpha a7II
If you prefer using a mirrorless camera, you certainly need to give the Sony a7II a second look. One of its best features is the 5-axis image stabilization that helps minimize blur caused by camera shake.
More importantly, it boasts a 24.3MP full-frame sensor that captures breathtaking photos and videos. And for best performance when shooting at night, the camera has an ISO range of 100-25600.
Additionally, the Alpha a7II utilizes a fast hybrid AF system with contrast and phase-detection points. Best of all, its display usually tilts up and down to allow better angle framing.
- Super-fast autofocus
- Simple connectivity via NFC/Wi-Fi
- Compact and lightweight design
- BIONZ X processor allows up to 5fps continuous shooting
- Poor battery life
10. Panasonic Lumix GH5 C4K
If you don’t mind spending money on an excellent performing mirrorless camera, the Lumix GH5 is worth giving a look.
The camera comes with a Digital Live sensor that delivers an ultra-wide dynamic range thanks to its 10.28MP resolution. Besides, it features an expandable ISO of 400-2500 so you can easily shoot in any light conditions.
Last but not least, the unit includes a high-resolution OLED Live viewfinder that offers better visibility for great image detail.
- Weatherproof and rugged design
- Shoots 4K videos with an extended burst at 60fps
- Reliable wireless connectivity
- Lightweight and compact body
- The menu is not very intuitive especially if you’re used to Canon cameras
Buyer’s Guide – What to Look Out For?
Every photographer knows that shooting in low light conditions or at night can be a hassle without a good camera. That’s why there are different aspects to take into consideration when looking for the best night photography camera. These aspects include:
This is one of the most important features to look out for when purchasing a camera for shooting at night. The ISO level is usually related to the sensor sensitivity and is shown as a range.
Basically, the ISO range may start from 50 and reach a million. However, it’s important to understand that a higher ISO level equals more amount of light sensitivity. Therefore, we recommend choosing a unit that boasts a high ISO.
Quality and Size of the Sensor
Generally speaking, the sensors is what dictates how much light enters your camera. So, without a good sensor, it can be hard to take usable shots in the dark. For this reason, it is important to choose a camera with a high-quality sensor.
Also, you will need to consider the size of the sensor. When shooting in low-light conditions or at night, you need the maximum light to reach the image sensor. So, investing in a camera with a larger sensor is important.
Another aspect worth considering is whether the camera has a good white balance. When shooting at night, you need a camera with the right white balance.
The majority of units feature the white balance automatically. However, it is advisable to find one that boasts an adjustable white balance. This feature allows you to capture epic shots at all times.
The aperture of a camera is usually determined by the lens the camera comes with. Therefore, if you opt for a kit, then you should choose a camera with a wide aperture lens. This way, you can take some amazing shots during the night.
Basically, a wide aperture offers you more focusing power which may have a great impact on the background.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Now let’s take a quick look at some of the frequently asked questions that people ask about cameras for night photography.
Is 50mm lens good enough for night photography?
50mm is considered to be a “standard” lens which means it’s neither wide nor narrow. But since it has a good field of view and a fast aperture, it can be used to shoot in low-light conditions.
What’s the best camera settings for low light?
The settings usually change from picture to picture. However, the ideal settings would be a high ISO starting at 1600 and an open aperture like f/2.8 or f/4. You will also need a higher shutter speed and a larger sensor.
Which aperture is the best for night sky photography?
If you would like to capture a well-exposed photo at night, you need a lens with a wider aperture. You can set the lens to stop at f/1.8. This will let in four times more light compared to f/3.5.
Which is The Best?
According to different reviews, the Sony Alpha a6000 appears to be the overall best choice. Thanks to its ISO range of 100 to 25600, this mirrorless camera can take stunning photos at night. What’s more, it boasts a high-resolution APS-C sensor along with a very fast auto-focus system.
The ideal camera for night-time photography is not all you need to capture amazing and professional-looking images. You also need to understand the techniques and settings for shooting in low light.
But regardless of your shooting style and budget, there’s definitely a camera on our list to suit everyone’s taste. So, go right ahead and choose the best one that meets your needs.